Printable Version
Pronunciation: slæp-hæ-pee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Goofy, silly, irresponsibly carefree and a bit dizzy, punch-drunk.

Notes: Today's word is a compound of two seemingly incongruent words, slap and happy. The only family I can find for this word is a noun, slaphappiness, but I see no reason why we could not use the comparative, slaphappier, and superlative, slaphappiest. Of course, you may use more slaphappy and most slaphappy for these functions. Adverb? Slaphappily. (My spellchecker is clearly angry at me for suggesting any of these derivations.)

In Play: Slaphappiness often results from lack of sleep: "I'm a little slaphappy this morning after staying up all night working on my new invention, an inflatable dart board." Of course, sleep deprivation is not the only matter than can bring on slaphappiness: "Jess Beamen is still slaphappy from getting a new Corvette for his birthday."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the sport of boxing, where participants are inclined to get screws loosened in their heads over the course of their careers. The other word with a similar meaning that comes from boxing is punch-drunk. No, it didn't start out meaning drunk on punch, but addle-brained from taking too many punches in the ring. Slap owes its origin to sound imitation, (onomatopoeia)—nothing interesting there. Happy is akin to the hap in happen and mishap. Though dated now, hap remains in some dictionaries meaning "chance, fortune". Happy began its life meaning "fortunate", then shifted to the state good fortune puts us in. (We hope we have made Albert Skiles happy in every sense of the word by posting his suggestion of today's crazy Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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